Take a good look at this picture and tell me what you see. Yes, I know that mustache is awesome, but keep looking. Ah yes, there it is.
The photo was posted briefly to the Facebook page of a Ducati dealer after winning an award at a dealer convention for being the top-selling dealership in the country. What was intended to be a shot of a bunch of guys celebrating a year's worth of hard work turned into quite the kerfuffle when it also happened to include a banner in the background with the side of a motorcycle with a 1299 badge on it. The picture was quickly replaced with a new version with the background cropped out.
The 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale is expected to be released alongside the 1199 Panigale and 1199 Panigale S to replace the 1199 Panigale R. Rumors say it will make about 10 horsepower more than the 1199, bringing power production north of 200.
The sane person's first response should be, "Why does it need even more power?" If we ignore the simple answer of "Because we can," for a second — and only a brief one — the bump may make sense in light of new rules for World Superbike for 2015 that further limit modifications. Plus, because they can.
We expect to see the Ducati 1299 Panigale released at EICMA in November and it will be interesting to see if Ducati takes the lid off the project more, now that the cat is out of the bag.